Take Advantage of Logos’ Christmas Deals through January 2!

Christmas is right around the corner, but there’s still time to save big on Logos’ Christmas deals! Don’t miss out on great bargains like:

15% off base packages

This is the perfect time to pick up a base package for yourself or someone you love. Throughout the season, base packages are 15% off! Logos gives you the tools to explore the Christmas narrative beyond the manger scene, understand the significance of the virgin birth, and see how the whole of Scripture centers on the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ.

Up to 75% off hand-selected book bundles

Customize your library with bundles on the subjects you love. Through the end of our Christmas sale, you’ll save up to 75% off individual title prices. But act fast—bundle prices double after January 2.

Win Logos 5 & a Surface tablet

Enter for your chance to win one of five Logos 5 base packages. We’re giving away Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and ­Platinum—and, with Platinum, a brand-new Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro! Already have Logos 5? If you win, we’ll refund your purchase in Logos credit.

You can see all the exciting offers by checking out the Logos Christmas deals page. But don’t wait too long—seasonal discounts end January 2.

What Is Your Reasonable Service?

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”—Romans 12:1 (KJV)

Wilhelmus à Brakel was a major theologian and scholar in the Dutch Puritan Reformation of the seventeenth century. He took Romans 12:1 to heart, applying its message to his character with sincerity and piety. For his congregations and Reformation movement, he desired nothing besides godliness and holiness. The Christian’s Reasonable Service exemplifies his heart as he systematically presents a theology of piety.

It has been argued that this is the best work in Puritan literature. Reformed believers in the Netherlands and England instantly found this work as endearing as à Brakel himself. As his magnum opus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service contains the compelling doctrine of à Brakel’s experiential theology.

What is your reasonable service? It is a reasonable question—one that à Brakel ponders as a way to assess our Christlikeness, guiding the reader through this biblical theology at the same time. Pre-order this classic four-volume Puritan masterpiece and help us get this spiritual systematic theology into Logos for the benefit of all who take Romans 12:1 to heart.

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Logos 5: Popular Highlights

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

In Logos 5, several features connect us to other Logos users: Community Tags, Community Ratings, sharing with Faithlife Groups, etc. Another community feature, Popular Highlights, appears throughout our resources. This new visual filter reveals how others mark up the text.

For example:

  • Open the daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.
  • Note the gray underlining, followed by the number of highlights, scattered throughout the book. (A)

Example of popular highlighting in My Utmost for His Highest book

These markers merely show frequently highlighted text in the Logos community; all specific user info is anonymous. You may be encouraged to see the insights others found helpful, or you may wish to disable Popular Highlights.

To hide Popular Highlights in one resource:

  • Click the visual filters icon (A) on the resource’s toolbar.
  • Uncheck Popular Highlights. (B)

Hide popular highlights in one resource

To hide Popular Highlights in all resources:

  • Click the visual filters icon (A) on a resource’s toolbar.
  • Right-click on Popular highlights. (B)
  • Select Do not show in any resources. (C)

Hide popular highlights in all resources

10 Christmas Sermons Just Waiting to Be Preached

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Christmas is upon us, and it’s a vital time for good preaching. Students are coming home, families are gathering in their hometowns—and more people are pouring into your church. Maybe you’ve planned ahead for all the visitors. Maybe God has blessed your church with faster growth than you expected. Either way, Logos 5’s Sermon Starter Guide makes it easy to brainstorm Christmas sermon (or any sort of sermon) ideas in seconds.

In fact, we can come up with 10 exciting Christmas sermon concepts right now.

5 Passage-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Let’s say I want to preach about the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18–25. There’s a lot of content here, though—and lots of message ideas. The Sermon Starter helps me identify plenty of clear message ideas.

Clicking any one of these gives me more to go on, and even spawns new sermon ideas. For example, when I click “Angels as God’s messengers,” I see a scriptural overview of the messages angels relay. I can zero in on one of these passages and compare it to the message the angel gives Joseph in Matthew—yet another sermon idea!

And just like that, I have five Christmas sermon ideas to work with:

  1. Just how human was baby Jesus? (Jesus: Humanity theme)
  2. What makes this baby special? (Jesus: Divinity theme)
  3. Did Mary and Joseph see Christmas coming? (Prophecy: Jesus)
  4. God’s message from God’s messengers (Thematic outline on angels)
  5. The true story of Jesus’ birth (thematic outline on Jesus’ birth)

 5 Theme-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Now let’s say I want to find some Christmas sermon ideas, but I don’t have a particular starting verse in mind. The Sermon Starter works with themes as well as passages, so I just type in “Christmas.” It suggests the theme of “Jesus: Birth,” which I select.

Wow—plenty of sermon ideas here! The first four ideas link to the Topic Guide, which is an awesome place to see relevant Scripture and background information. The last points to Isaiah 9:6–7, where I could use the Bible Word Study to understand what “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” and “Prince of Peace” mean.

This gives me five more starting points for more Christmas sermons:

  1. What is the origin of Advent?
  2. Jesus: God in the flesh
  3. The original Nativity
  4. Star of wonder, Star of light
  5. Four more names for baby Jesus

The Sermon Starter Guide makes it far easier to come up with sermon ideas—and it brings to light some concepts I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5 Bronze and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and subscribe to the Logos blog as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

Joseph in the Matrix

Are you familiar with the movie The Matrix? I’m not so worried about the plot of the movie here; instead, I’m wondering about a particular effect created in the film: time essentially stopped or slowed incredibly, but the main character (“Neo,” played by Keanu Reeves) appeared conscious in the midst of the slowdown. Do you think this was a new technique? I remember watching it, thinking that it wasn’t just cool, it was innovative.

What if I told you about a noncanonical story of Jesus’ mother, Mary, circulated among early Christians—one that used a similar technique? And what if I told you it happened right at the point when Jesus was born? Well, it did, and that story is also known as the Protevangelium (or “Proto-Gospel”) of James (though in all likelihood, James, Jesus’ brother, had nothing to do with it). It tells a story of Mary’s parents, her birth, how she was raised, how Joseph came into the picture, and—of course—the birth of Jesus.

The Protevangelium of James is found in a group of writings usually called “apocryphal gospels” or “New Testament apocrypha” or sometimes even simply “noncanonical gospels.” I’ve been working on a version of the apocryphal gospel material available in Greek. We recently expanded it to a two-volume collection. One volume includes “Texts and Transcriptions”; this is the Greek material with morphological analysis. The second volume includes “Introductions and Translations”—newly written introductions to each document, fragment, or excerpt, as well as newly compiled bibliographies, and translations of all the material. It’s pretty cool (at least I think so); check it out if you’re interested. Most of the work is done, and we hope to release it early in 2013.

Anyway, back to Joseph in the Matrix. Here’s the setting: Joseph and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem for the census. Mary is at pretty much full-term pregnancy. On the way, though, Mary says to Joseph, “Take me down from the donkey, for that which is within me presses hard to come out.” (Prot. James 17.3) Now, any father-to-be can identify with Joseph here. His task is to find a place for Mary, and quick. So, according to this version of the story, Joseph finds a cave, drops Mary off there, and immediately goes to find a Hebrew midwife to assist with the birth.

And here is where the shift happens. The story was in the third person, but in Prot. James 18.2, it shifts to the first person singular, with Joseph as speaker.

“Now I, Joseph, was walking, yet I did not walk. And I looked up to the air and saw that the air was astonished. And I looked up unto the vault of heaven and saw it standing still, and the birds of the sky at rest. And I looked upon the earth and saw a dish laid out, and workmen lying by it, and their hands were in the dish. And they that were chewing did not chew, and they that were lifting food did not lift it, and they that put it to their mouth had not put it there. And behold, there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up. And I looked upon the stream of the river and saw the mouths of the goats upon the water, yet they did not drink. And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

Joseph notes, “I was walking, yet I did not walk.” Other people and objects are described in a similar state of being, but not moving; essentially stuck: “there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up.” The picture is of a moment, frozen in time. Joseph is caught in that moment, similarly frozen, but consciously aware of it. And then, as suddenly as the moment comes, it leaves: “And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

After this experience, Joseph conveniently and immediately locates a Hebrew midwife, and returns to the cave with her. Joseph and the midwife then find out that Jesus had already been born.

So why even mention this story at Christmastime? Not because it is canonical (it isn’t) or because it accurately supplements the story of Jesus’ birth (it probably doesn’t). But this is another way that some early Christians—particularly those who were struggling with the concept of the virgin birth—told that story. They told it in a way that allowed them to believe the virgin birth actually happened.

Not only that, it’s a good story, though I do like Luke’s version better.

Pick up your copy of Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha today.

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4 Factors That Make Diamond a Solid Upgrade Choice

You’ve probably noticed the newest member of the base package family: Logos 5 Diamond. It’s a huge library that stands in the gap between Platinum and Portfolio, but it’s more than just our second-biggest base package: Logos 5 Diamond is one of the smartest ways to upgrade to Logos 5.

In fact, when we first unveiled Logos 5, Diamond was the first base package purchased. Not the enormous Portfolio, the basic Starter, or the middle-of-the-road Gold—Diamond first.

Let’s take a closer look at why Diamond is such an intelligent upgrade choice.

1. You Get All Logos 5 Features

From the improved Passage Guide and Search Suggestions to the sophisticated Clause Search and Bible Sense Lexicon, it’s all yours. Every feature of Logos Bible Software is at your command, ready to help take your Bible study into deeper, richer territory.

2. You Save at Least 15%!

You get lots of amazing features and 2,028 resources, but you save at least 15% off the regular price. Why the “at least”? Because with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator, you get a discount tailored to your existing library. You’ll only pay for the books and datasets that are new to you.

3. Your Per-Book Price Is Miniscule

Let’s say you get the bare minimum discount of 15%. You’re still getting 2,028 resources for $2,933. That’s only $1.45 per resource! And that price is ever more unbelievable when you factor in how much it would cost to get these books in print: $52,500!

4. Your Unbeatable Payment Plan Makes It More Affordable

Even at this deal, $2,900 isn’t exactly pocket change. But that’s no problem: Logos 5 Diamond qualifies for an 18-month payment plan. You get to spread that cost over a year and a half, and the monthly cost is only about $11 more than what you’d pay every month if you started with Platinum. There are more ways a payment plan can help you afford the library you want, but the important thing about Diamond is that it’s the lowest base package to qualify for an 18-month plan.
And remember: this doesn’t take into account the special pricing you’ll get with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator!

Diamond: a Solid Choice

These are just four reasons Diamond is a really smart way to upgrade to Logos 5. If you already have Diamond, did I leave out any good reasons? Let me know in the comments!

Get into Genesis with the Lexham Bible Guides

We all wish we could buy time, even just a few hours to get a project done. With the Lexham Bible Guides: Genesis Collection, pastors can essentially do just that.

From creation through the patriarch narratives, the Lexham Bible Guides: Genesis Collection empowers you to interpret some of the most difficult and important chapters of the Bible. Both volumes prepare you to immerse yourself in passages you’ve read dozens of times—and walk away with entirely new insights.

The Lexham Bible Guides direct you to the best commentaries for the subject you’re researching. The Genesis Collection offers a complete introduction to each literary unit of the book, keeping you focused and helping you conduct more thorough research in a fraction of the time you usually spend hunting through commentaries on your own. You’ll also get an overview of the each passage’s structure, its place within Genesis and within the canon, major issues within the passage, key word studies, and an application to help you make this degree of research relevant for your faith community.

You already know that commentators hold a variety of views on God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering and not Cain’s. With the Lexham Bible Guides: Genesis Collection, you’ll get an overview of those opinions, with definitions of original-language words and links to commentaries that explore each standpoint in depth. Take a look at an excerpt:

The Offerings of Cain and Abel

The reason God favored Abel’s offering and not Cain’s remains a matter of debate. Both men brought offerings related to their vocation. Some commentators contend that this passage reflects a preference for blood sacrifice. Others argue that the narrator gives no clues as to God’s preference for one offering over the other. This latter view regards God’s sovereignty and divine election as responsible. Another interpretation, based on Heb 11:4, suggests that God preferred Abel’s offering because Abel demonstrated a righteous motivation in worship where Cain did not. The most common view, however, explains that God rejected Cain’s offering because of its quality. Abel offered the “firstborn” (bekhorah) of his flock (Gen 4:4); Cain failed to offer the “firstfruits” (bikkurim) of his yield (Gen 4:2; compare Exod 23:19).

  • Walter Brueggemann calls God’s preference for Abel’s offering inexplicable and recommends that interpreters resist the temptation to explain what the narrator leaves unexplained. He argues that the freedom of God is the main point.
  • Kenneth A. Mathews contends that a flaw in Cain’s intention prompted God’s rejection. He argues that God rejected the integrity of the giver, not the nature of the offering.
  • John Skinner argues that God’s preference for Abel’s offering reflects a preference for animal offerings over vegetable offerings.
  • Bruce Waltke examines the interpretive options, concluding that God rejected Cain’s offering because Cain did not bring the best of his harvest, revealing that he was not dependent on God.

How much time would you have invested in finding these resources on your own? Why do the work when Logos has already done it for you?

When you purchase the two-volume Lexham Bible Guides: Genesis Collection, Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 1–11 will download immediately. Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 12–50 will download when it is released. Get yours today!

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Stuff a Stocking with Bible Study Magazine!

Tired of giving socks and chocolate for Christmas? Wish you had a stocking stuffer that was a little more meaningful?

This year, why not give the gift of better Bible study with a subscription to Bible Study Magazine? For only $19.95, your friends and family will receive a year’s worth of Bible-study insights from scholars, archaeologists, and Bible teachers.

Here’s what’s included in the Jan.–Feb. ’13 issue:

  • A cover story featuring R. C. Sproul. The founder of Ligonier Ministries came to faith in an unexpected way and through an obscure passage of the Bible.
  • An interview with Jim Liske. The CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries shares how the Bible is transforming lives in prisons, revealing a fascinating approach to discipleship.
  • A new eight-week Bible study on the book of Jude.
  • Engaging, in-depth articles on the Gospel of John, including “Truth beyond the Facts” and “The Ironic, Iconic Messiah.”
  • Bible-Study Stategies for Moms: Sherry Surrat, CEO of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), shares how she makes time for Bible study.

Bible Study Magazine makes a great gift for anyone interested in getting into the Word. And it’s easy to give! Go to BibleStudyMagazine.com  and simply enter the gift-receiver’s shipping address. You’ll even have the option of downloading a Christmas card for a stocking stuffer.

Celebrate Christmas with the gift of better Bible study! Gift Bible Study Magazine now!

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Sometimes Bigger Is Better

Portfolio is the biggest, best library we could build. We pulled out all the stops for Logos 5 to give you a massive library at an incredible price—with huge introductory discounts that expire soon. Here’s a quick introduction to the biggest base package we’ve ever offered.

How big is Portfolio?

Portfolio is much bigger than it was before.

  • You get 2,585 resources—up from 1,650 resources before.
  • You get $78,000 worth of books and content—up from $36,245 before.

It’s also much bigger than any other base package:

  • It has 557 more resources than Diamond
  • It has 1,215 more resources than Platinum
  • It has 1,509 more resources than Gold

Why bigger is better

You might be asking, “Why do I need such a big library?”

Think of it this way: the value of a book by itself (physical or digital) is only in the information it carries. When you link two books together—for example, a link between a citation and the book it cites, or the ability to scroll the Greek text and your English New Testament side by side—you increase the value of each book.

When you start adding more complex links between thousands of books, and then integrate your library with data, smart tools, and a clean, fast interface to access everything, you can see that the books in your library become exponentially more valuable as you increase the total size of your library. (This is called the “Network Effect.”)

With Logos, the books in your library are interconnected. More books means more links between your books, more relevant results in the reports you run—like the Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, Bible Word Study, and more.

That’s why 2,651 resources in Portfolio are more valuable than 2,651 print books.

What’s in Portfolio?

Here’s what’s included:

  • 668 volumes of Bible commentaries
  • 152 volumes on Bible introduction, history, and culture
  • 359 volumes of biblical studies, including 50 volumes of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series
  • 285 theological works, including Calvin, Schaeffer, Aquinas, Owen, Baxter, Pink, and more.
  • 261 volumes on preaching and teaching, including 86 Spurgeon books
  • 113 original-language grammars, lexicons, word studies, and other tools, including BDAG, LSJ, and HALOT
  • Every Greek and Hebrew critical text in our format
  • 40 volumes on exegesis and interpretation
  • All 53 features in Logos, including all the new Logos 5 features

One way many people determine whether they should get a base package is by calculating the value of books or commentary sets they’ve had their eye to see if they can get a better price as part of a base package. In most cases, they can, and you probably can, too.

For example, Portfolio contains the following resources:

You’ll notice that the books above would cost you $5,434 if you bought them separately.

But if you get Portfolio instead, not only will you get all these books—you’ll get almost 2,000 additional resources, all for less than the price of just the books listed above.

Your list of must-have resources might look a little different than the list above, but probably not too different—it still probably includes a few commentaries, some reference works, a lexicon or two, and some theological works. Take a look at the content in Portfolio, make your own list, and then do the math to see what you’ll save by buying or upgrading to Portfolio.

Upgrading from the previous version of Portfolio?

If you own a previous version of Portfolio, you can still take advantage of incredible savings and get a ton of new books.

With an upgrade from the previous version of Portfolio, you’ll get:

  • 1,643 new resources
  • $23,036.51 worth of content if you bought the books separately at regular Logos.com prices, or $49,088.87 worth of content if you bought the books at print list prices.
  • All the new Logos 5 features

When you upgrade, you get all this for $118.23 per month for 18 months. And depending on what you already own, your price could be much lower than this number.

You won’t lose any books you already own, plus you’ll get all the new content, along with the new Logos 5 features.

18-month payment plan

Are you on a book budget? Our interest-free payment plans are designed for you. By extending the payment plan from 12 to 18 months, we’re making it easier for you to use the monthly book budget provided by your church to pay for Portfolio. Payment plans are interest-free, but we do ask for a $5 processing fee to cover additional accounting and administration expenses.

Head on over to the comparison chart to see what’s in Portfolio, and to see your customized discount price.

Don’t miss the limited-time introductory discount

For just a little while longer, you can get Portfolio at an introductory discount, but this discount won’t last forever. If you’re thinking about buying or upgrading to Portfolio, it’s important that you do so soon.

In addition to the launch discounts, you’ll get an additional discount for any content you already own—even for books you may have bought 20 years ago. If you’ve been a Logos customer for awhile and you’ve been acquiring books over the years, you may be surprised at how low your price for Portfolio might be.

The main thing you need to know is that this price will be going up soon. Head on over to the upgrade page to see everything you will get and your personalized discount price.

Don’t Wait! Upgrade to Logos 5 Now

There’s no question that the best way to get tons of new Logos content at the best possible price is with a base package.  Upgrading your base package gives you new content and Logos 5′s powerful, fast new features1.

Here’s what you get when you upgrade:

The Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator

Upgrade to Logos 5 right now and take advantage of the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator, which credits you for the content you already own. That’s right! You aren’t going to pay for the same book twice. This doesn’t just count for previous base packages—the upgrader is also taking into account other resources you may have added to your Logos library, even if you don’t own a base package.

Move to Logos 5 and Save at Least 15%

On top of your custom discount, throughout the launch period you can take at least 15% off your upgrade to Logos 5. Depending on the package you’re upgrading to, you’ll get 15–25% off! When you combine the custom discount with the launch sale and pay with an interest-free payment plan, you have the best scenario for moving to Logos 5. Hurry though—this special promotional pricing is only available for a limited time. Visit Logos.com/Upgrade to see your upgrade discounts now!

The Features and Content You Need

We didn’t just tweak our existing base packages, we went back to the drawing board to put together the most powerful Bible-study resources possible. Rebuilt from the ground up, Logos 5 gives you significant value and content, including Bible translations, reverse interlinears, commentary sets, reference material, preaching and ministry resources, and so much more. There’s an amazing amount of new content in our base packages—check out the comparison page to see for yourself.

But Logos 5 isn’t about just theological ebooks. What makes Logos 5 pop is combining your vast Bible-study library with Logos 5′s cutting-edge features. Put features like the Timeline, Clause Search, Bible Facts, Sermon Starter and Topic Guides, and Bible Sense Lexicon to work for you, and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in profound Bible study.

Don’t Wait. Upgrade Now!

You have absolutely nothing to lose when you upgrade now. Every resource you own will come with you when you move to Logos 5, and you’ll never pay for the same book twice. If you recently purchased books, and want to upgrade today, you won’t lose any of the content you’ve purchased. Instead, you’ll get a significant amount of new content for pennies on the dollar.

Right now, we’re offering discounts on all upgrades. Visit the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator to see your best price and upgrade now!

  1. Starter equips you with many of the core datasets, Bronze gives you the majority of the datasets and features, Silver give you everything except for the Bible Senses dataset, and Gold and above give you everything. []